Round 15 – Port Adelaide v Collingwood: The three W’s contribute to the win


Port Adelaide versus Collingwood
7.20pm, Thursday 9 July
Adelaide Oval




The walk through the northern parkland carpark is rather surreal. There is an eerie sombre feeling looming over the Adelaide Oval stadium.


A week is a long time in football. Since Port played on the previous Thursday night against the Swans in Sydney and suffered a narrow loss the football world has been shocked and devastated by the tragic death of Phil Walsh, Adelaide Crows senior coach, former assistant coach at Port Adelaide, West Coast and Geelong. As a tribute to Phil Walsh the players, umpires, coaches and crowd pause for a minute’s silence prior to the commencement of play. The silent grief was palpable.


The fact that this game is Dane Swans 250th game falls under the radar as the usual commemorative banner and associated fanfare is absent out of respect for the solemnity of the occasion.


The Port Adelaide players, some of whom had a long association with Phil Walsh in his capacity of assistant coach for a total of 11 years with the Power, enter the game committed to ‘getting the job done’. True to this Walsh mantra, Port dominate the midfield with Wines, Boak and Gray making early breaks. The forward pressure applied by Port puts enormous pressure on the Magpies backline. Gray, Impey – with a cheeky sidestep, and Westhoff make the most of scoring opportunities. The backline led by Broadbent and Hombsch repel insipid Woods attacks. The Port players go to the quarter time huddle full of confidence after amassing 8 scoring shots to the Magpies 2, giving them a 27 point lead. In the first 30 minutes Port were rediscovering team focus lost over past month.


Coach Buckley must have laid down the law to his charges at the quarter time break as the Collingwood players regain their composure and many previously unsighted players start to have an impact. The Magpies work ethic through the likes of Pendlebury, Swan, Adams and Sidebottom sees the Port defence lose its edge and results in 4 consecutive goals to the Pies. The game is back in the balance.


Adams is involved in ugly incident with Westhoff which is sure to gain the attention of the match review committee.


The context of the game changes in the second half with constant showers making the ground slippery, requiring players to change their tactics. Sidebottom, Swan and Adams are enjoying these conditions. The game is contested in close and the ball is not travelling far. Despite this Port keeps the pressure up and moves the ball through traffic resulting in goals to Gray and Wingard. Almost assumedly Port get out to 22 point lead. Collingwood not to be denied push forward and scores a goal from an Elliott snap.

Port Adelaide take an 11 point buffer into the 3 quarter time break.


Wingard with deft skills kicks a goal from a very tight angle to see Port lead 66 to 48 early in final quarter. The game is a real slog out with players from both sides playing desperate footy.

Jordan De Goey combines soccer skills to kick the ball off the ground and score a vital goal for the Woods to close the gap to 9 points.

The Pies keep forging forward and Adams scores mercurial goal from half forward boundary line to give Collingwood scent of victory. The crowd duly boo his effort!


Relentless the Magpies push forward from the centre bounce and kick ball deep into the forward line. Broadbent in typical fashions chances himself and runs the ball out of defence to ease pressure on the Port backline. With 5 seconds to go Collingwood through Langdon kick the ball to centre half forward only to have the siren stymie any further play.

Three ‘W Factors’, the respect for Phil Walsh, the dogged determination of Ollie Wines and the interspersed brilliance of Wingard were significant influences on the outcome of the game.



Port Adelaide    5.3          6.6          8.11        9.12        (66)

Collingwood       1.1          5.5          7.6          9.9          (63)



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